Reid Lidow

Reid Lidow

Writer and Policy Strategist, 2022-2023 Berggruen Fellow


Reid Lidow is currently working on a study of the seismic shifts taking place in the world economy and geopolitically. His writing and research with Gordon Brown explores global crises and the underlying trends and transformations creating a fractured world. As a Berggruen Fellow, he plans to examine opportunities for enhanced global governance through international institutions, as well as where common ground might be found between the West and China to avoid a ‘one world, two systems’ future. Reid’s research is based in Los Angeles at USC’s Center for the Political Future.

Most recently, Reid was a candidate for Los Angeles City Controller. Before that, he served as Executive Officer to the Mayor of Los Angeles. In this role, he provided strategic counsel to the Mayor and ensured the execution of his day-to-day goals. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Reid led the writing team behind the Mayor’s nightly briefings. Prior to this, Reid worked for Gordon Brown on a range of campaigns – from encouraging countries to deliver an inclusive and quality education for all children, to the fight against Brexit.

Reid completed his undergraduate studies at USC where he double majored in International Relations and Political Science. He was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and went on to earn an MPhil in Development Studies.



composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.